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Pharoah

Why Egyptians are Calling Obama the "Black Bush"

Most of the world celebrated the advent of Obama as a beacon of hope for a new peaceful world. The Egyptians on the streets heralded him as a light messenger, and his visit to Cairo was the most talked about event since the coming of the last messiah. Even long after his post-election speeches to the nation, his ads ran on Egyptian television like a Mister Roger's episode for years -- reminding the world that real change was on its way.

As 2010 came to a close, that flicker of hope in the eye of the average Egyptian quickly faded, and any remaining optimism on the near horizon was replaced with simmering rage. The unemployed college graduate will sit at a café all day smoking a hookah - while watching the price of tomatoes from the cart dealer in front of his eyes inflate 400% in one day. This kid watching the world glide by in despair was once hopeful about his future. Now he sits on the sidelines of life watching suffering and desperation collide all around him.

His father earns six hundred pounds ($120) a month as an eye doctor. His sister is a professor of Linguistics at Alexandria University making $2000 a month, and his mother just returned from London for a heart surgery that wiped out the family's savings. He can't get married and meet the demands of marriage without a job, and he can't have a relationship with a woman without getting married. By the end of 2006, boredom and sexual frustration were the source of weekly rapes throughout the country and drug usage was at an all time high.

Better Earth

Jewish prayers for Egypt's uprising

jews,prayer
© Getty
Jews recount at Passover their own history with the Pharaoh of Egypt - sympathies to the current Egyptian struggle run deep
Many Jews from around the world support Egyptian self-determination because of Judaism's own historic past with Egypt. So while the Jewish establishment expresses its concerns, most younger Jews rejoice at the flourishing of freedom.

Jews recount at Passover their own history with the Pharaoh of Egypt - so sympathies to the current Egyptian struggle run deep. Ever since the victory over the dictator of Tunisia and the subsequent uprising in Egypt, my email has been flooded with messages from Jews around the world hoping and praying for the victory of the Egyptian people over their cruel Mubarak regime. True, right-wing Jews who control the major Jewish organizations in the US (which operate on the principle of one dollar one vote, not one person one vote) and the right wing government of Israel have confined their reactions to "Is is good for the Jew?", many other Jews react differently--realizing that it is good for the world, and so respond to a fundamental point made by Tikkun: what is good for the world is good for the Jews.

Though a small segment of Jews have responded to right-wing voices from Israel that lament the change and fear that a democratic government would bring to power fundamentalist extremists who wish to destroy Israel and who would abrogate the hard-earned treaty that has kept the peace between Egypt and Israel for the last 30 years, the majority of Jews are more excited and hopeful than worried.

Of course, the worriers have a point. Israel has allied itself with repressive regimes in Egypt and used that alliance to ensure that the borders with Gaza would remain closed while Israel attempted to economically deprive the Hamas regime there by denying needed food supplies and equipment to rebuild after Israel's devastating attack in December 2008 and January 2009. If the Egyptian people take over, they are far more likely to side with Hamas than with the Israeli blockade of Gaza. But the fundamentalists in Egypt are Sunni, unlike the Shi'ite fundamentalists in Iran, and many have publicly stated that they would not want war with Israel nor do they seek to impose Sharia law in the way it is imposed in Afghanistan or Iran, but rather they would accept a mixed society. Unlike the Shi'ites, the Sunni do not believe as a matter of doctrine that the society must be ruled by clergy. Of course, within the ranks of fundamentalists there will be an inevitable struggle between those who are more anti-Israel and anti-West and those who are more open to Israel and the West. At the current moment the Muslim Brotherhood is led by the more moderate elements. Will these moderates win out? Well what we do during the transition, both as Americans and as Jews, and what Israel does, could have an impact on the outcome. If we are perceived as continuing to support the oppressive regime of the past that will tend to help the most reactionary elements, and if we are perceived as trying to help the Egyptian people achieve genuine freedom and democracy, that is likely to help the most moderate elements.

Light Saber

Egypt's Peaceful Revolution (before Mubarak firebombed it)

Created by Tamer Shaaban. Another Egyptian who's had enough.


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Fish

US: Fishers charged in fish kill

dead fish
© Unknown

Sumner Township - Two commercial fishers face fines and felony charges of killing nearly 700 game fish while netting carp in Lake Koshkonong last fall and then burying the fish along a shoreline in a plot to hide the kill, according to a criminal complaint.

Steven Kallenbach, 54, of Stoddard and John Bruring, 47, of La Crosse were charged Jan. 27 in Jefferson County Court with felony possession of illegal fish after a lengthy investigation by the Department of Natural Resources into a large number of dead fish found along the shore of Lake Koshkonong on Sept. 28, 2010.

Kallenbach and Bruring face jail time and fines of up to $10,000 for the charges. They're scheduled for an initial appearance Feb. 21 in Jefferson County Court.

Che Guevara

Could It Happen Here?

us war protests
© Unknown

Tunis...Cairo...Wall Street?...Washington?

Could it happen here?

Consider: In North Africa, unresponsive, self-interested, moneyed tyrants falling to popular revolt. People impoverished by an unaccountable government run and funded by a wealthy and corrupt elite. Two leaders, both "key allies" of the United States, leaders in the "war against terror," and thus against true democracy and Arab and Muslim self-determination.

Ben Ali - the dictator of Tunisia, became president for life in 1987, held a series of 'elections' in which he never won less than 90% of the vote. Ben Ali, the man who looted his own country, set up Swiss bank accounts for his family, and lived opulently amid the squalor of his own people. Ben Ali, the "friend" of the West, key American ally in the 'war on terror' that is in reality a war on Islam. But the people delivered justice.

Mubarak - the enemy of his own people, a traitor and betrayer, surviving only through the magnanimous "aid," $1.5 billion per year, from the U.S. - in return for serving as the American puppet, for enforcing Israeli-American interests over those of his own people, for helping to crush the innocents in Gaza on his doorstep. Mubarak - the Judenknecht, as the Germans would say, a slave to the Jews. But the people delivered justice.

Gear

Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh 'to quit in 2013'

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Veteran dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, 64, has been the focus of recent protests
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh says he will not seek to extend his presidency when his current term expires in 2013, according to reports.

Mr Saleh, who has been in power for three decades, also pledged that he would not pass on power to his son.

He spoke to parliament ahead of a rally in the capital on Thursday which, echoing protests in Tunisia and Egypt, has been dubbed a "day of rage".

Mr Saleh came to power as president of North Yemen in 1978.

When the country was united with South Yemen in 1990 he became president of the new republic.

Concessions

Speaking during an emergency session of the country's parliament and the consultative council, he laid out his plans to move aside.

Pharoah

Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic! Mubarak appoints Zahi Hawass to be his new antiquities minister

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Dr. Zahi Hawass
The Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Zahi Hawass, has been appointed as the country's Minister of Antiquities.

The world-renowned archeologist was announced as the head of the newly created department on January 31st, 2011, Past Horizons reported.

The department will absorb the Supreme Council of Antiquities and will be responsible for protecting and preserving all Egyptian monuments and museums.

"Egypt has 5,000 years of civilization and we love our heritage," Hawass said in a statement on Tuesday February 1, 2011.

Millions of protesters across Egypt have defied army orders to return to their homes as rallies against President Hosni Mubarak and his governments continue for the ninth day.

Inspired by the recent popular revolution in Tunisia, which resulted in the historic overthrow of Zine El Abidin Ben Ali, Egyptians have staged similar anti-government protests since January 24, 2011, calling on Mubarak to step down from power after three decades in office.

Che Guevara

Yemenis vow to continue protests - they want Saleh out now

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Yemeni civil society groups and opposition leaders have called a massive protest rally on Thursday, February 3, 2011, dubbed a "day of rage."
Opposition groups in Yemen say they will go ahead with a scheduled anti-government protest rally despite President Ali Abdullah Saleh's promise to quit in 2013.

The opposition on Wednesday welcomed Saleh's decision to end his 30-year rule, but said that they will not call off a planned rally in the capital on Thursday, dubbed a "day of rage."

"We consider this initiative positive and we await the next concrete steps. As for our plan for a rally tomorrow, the plan stands and it will be organized and orderly," said Mohammed al-Saadi, the undersecretary of the Islamic Islah party, Reuters reported.

"This is a peaceful struggle through which the people can make their voices heard and express their aspirations," he emphasized.

Massive anti-government demonstrations broke out in Yemen after the president proposed a constitutional amendment in January that could make Saleh the president of Yemen for life.

Pocket Knife

A scene of violent chaos in Cairo

Cairo, Egypt - It started with verbal abuse, and then - perhaps inevitably - it got physically, terrifyingly violent.

Supporters of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak flooded into Cairo's Tahrir Square Wednesday after the president's opponents dominated the scene for more than a week.


Separated at first by barriers, the rival demonstrators exchanged insults, then began throwing anything they could find at each other, including shoes, rocks and sticks.

Suddenly the barriers came down. People surged toward each other in a chaotic scene that conjured images of a revolution.

Hourglass

ElBaradei warns of imminent 'bloodbath' in Egypt

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Egyptian anti-government protesters demand Mubarak's resignation.
Noted Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei blames Cairo for clashes between anti-government protesters and the regime's so-called sympathizers, warning it could lead to a "bloodbath."

Posing as supporters of President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, plainclothes police officers attacked the demonstrators in the capital. At least one person has been killed and hundreds of people have so far been injured in Wednesday's clashes.

Reports also say that security forces have also attacked people in Suez and Alexandria, both in the northeast.

On Wednesday, ElBaradei accused Cairo of using "scare tactics" and denounced the pro-regime supporters as a "bunch of thugs," Reuters reported.

"My fear is that it will turn into a bloodbath," he warned.